Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

by William Makepeace Thackeray
3.6 231

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Overview

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair is the story of Becky Sharp, one of the most beautiful, willful, and resourcefully charming pleasure-seekers in literature. With finishing-school credentials and proper connections, Becky begins as a governess, wins the hearts of the moneyed young and old, and, in the light of presentation at court and calculated scandals, emerges a full-fledged courtesan on the Continent, living surprisingly well beyond her means. Thackeray's greatest novel is a moral tapestry of early nineteenth-century English manners, and his persistent theme is the folly of the good-at-heart, the evil of those endowed with grace and wit. Anthony Trollope called Thackeray "...one of the recognized stars of the literary heaven." V.S. Pritchett finds Thackeray "...the first of our novelists to catch life visually and actually as it passes in fragments before us...he is above all a superb impressionist - perhaps our greatest." With an Afterword by V.S. Pritchett

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848376113
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Series: Arcturus Paperback Classics Series
Pages: 720
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta in 1811. He was sent to England in 1817 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Following a period of gambling, unsuccessful investments and a brief career as a lawyer, he turned to writing and drawing. In 1836 he married Isabella Shawe; following the birth of their second daughter, her mental health deteriorated and she had to be permanently supervised by a private nurse. Thackeray's first novel, Catherine, was published in 1839-40. Following the success of Vanity Fair (1847-8) he was able to devote himself to fiction, and his other notable works include Pendennis (1849), The History of Henry Esmond (1852) and The Newcomes (1855). He also edited the commercially successful Cornhill Magazine, which published writers such as Tennyson, George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Thackeray died suddenly on Christmas Eve, 1863.

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Vanity Fair 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 231 reviews.
inkarus More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly, after over 150 years, Vanity Fair is still a page-turner. This novel is supposed to be a groundbreaking work of "English realism" for its time (middle 1800's), but is surprisingly pertinent to today's consumer-oriented culture. Anyone who wants a slightly cynical look at the human condition will really enjoy this rendition of the foibles of human society and the sharply drawn characters of Becky Sharp, Emmy Sedly and her brother, Jos., and Thackeray's alter-ego, Dobbin (who is a bit too virtuous, of course). Not only is it a classic but it is very entertaining. It helps, however, to know just a bit of French an German, since there are a few foreign phrases salted in here and there. Even if you are in the dark about these exotic expressions, however, there are plenty of quips and escapades to keep you amused and anxious to move from chapter to chapter. I would have given Vanity Fair five stars, except for the difficulty of downloading the entire novel. My first attempt produced a (1853) download of the beginning third of the book (despite being told I was downloading "Vanity Fair"). My next attempt got farther, however this version ended in mid-sentence. I then downloaded another "Vanity Fair, Vol. II", which picked up later than the point at which I was dumped by my second attempt,and this third (and final) download also included another short novel not noted on the cover page. Furthermore, the OCR image of the "Vol II" final download had a fair number of uncorrected errors, although it was usually possible to understand what was in the original. I managed to fill in the missing chapters between my second and third downloads from a paperback I had purchased (I had only downloaded to the Nook because it is more convenient to read than a fat paperback). These problems with the descriptions of the various copies available for download limit the overall enjoyment of the reading experience. B&N needs to clear up these problems before they can expect perfect scores! The novel is well worth the effort, however.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading vanity fair and was very pleased with the book. There were some parts that were alittle boring but the rest of the book makes up for it. The ending, in particular, could not have been better. This is a very big book and does take alot of time to read, however, it is well worth it. I read Anna korenina right before Vanity Fair, and I have to say that this one is much better. Vanity Fair is definately going into my book collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The difference between right and wrong- who doesn't know it? This book is all around amazing. You know, before reading Vanity Fair, I had no idea how bad the magazine disgraces this great book. I loved it! It's not like it goes into detail about who is cheating and such like a country song, but shows what is wrong and write. It also simply shows the dark side of this seemingly innocent era.
twigtip More than 1 year ago
This is an epic social satire with spot-on observation and biting commentary. The characters are wholly believable and recognizable, even in today's society. I must add that it is very, very long, and to be fully appreciated probably needs to be read at a leisurely pace. Set aside a week's worth of spare time. You'll be amply rewarded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always thought that this would be a drag to read because it looked like a snobby, long Victorian novel. However, once I started reading it, I was addicted.
prettybrowneyes More than 1 year ago
I loved reading Vanity Fair. Rebecca Sharp is one of the most evil but intelligent characters I have ever read! Thackeray reminds me alot of Charles Dickens by the way he describes the characters and the enviornment they live in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time, so clearly I am a biased reviewer. That said, there are many reasons for why that is so. The character of Becky Sharp is engaging and well-developed--beautiful, witty and ambitious, she is capable of manipulating her way through society at any cost, even that of 'implied' murder. Thackeray's range in the novel is tremendous: he takes us from the drawing-rooms of the great Lord Steyne, to the country parsonage of Bute Crawley, to the battlefields of Waterloo and back again. His delineations of social class are equally widespread, and delightfully perceptive. Additionally, the Barnes and Noble edition happens to have an extremely good introduction and notes--which cannot be said for every title in their classics series. I think I need not say that it is superior to the movie in every way imaginable 'although, granted, the film was not bad'. Highly, highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vanity Fair is not a short novel. It is long, and has many difficult words (so get a dictionary). However, by assiduously following the plot, one is quickly enchanted by the characters, and the intricately woven plot. It's a novel that needs some work to be appreciated, but the footnotes (with translations of the occasional French dialogue and cultural notes)are helpful in achieving this task. I finished the novel after reading it in installments for half a year, and it made me more aware of Victorian culture than any history book ever could. It's historical, romantic, and comedic. I'd give it six stars if I could.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While it may be long, it is far from boring. Thackery makes hilarious commentaries on British society.
Guest More than 1 year ago
William Thackeray's Vanity Fair is, by far, one of the most amazing works of fiction I have ever read. Unlike most authors of his age (especially those who wrote similar serials), Thackeray remains the consummate third-person satirist, creating characatures of some of the greatest minds in England of the time. Reading Vanity Fair was like eating the richest possible chocolate. Do not be turned off by the size, Vanity Fair is well worth the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Drama and comedy mix beautifully in this period character study. The story line does not necessarily go where the reader anticipates; but it is never disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
W.M.Thackeray did a wonderful job in grasping the convictions and the rationalisms of the 19 Century in England. The book is filled with over a dozen truly genuine characters who have much to teach us about the true characters of men and women in circumstances of much opulence and poverty. In the story one of the pivotal characters , Becky overcomes many of the social barriers imposed by her low station in society by using her charms, magnetism and charisma to raise her self in society. The Barnes & Nobles Classics Editions was much helpful for it provided; critical background information and important language translations which made the text a lot more agreeable. Due to the fact that the book was published in installment its lengthy and requires a significantly long time to finish reading it.
SarahJenny More than 1 year ago
Excellently written, yet I have never, ever so disliked a heroine. I couldn't feel concern for such an awful character and was awaiting her demise with glee!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of blind ambition and blinder honesty manages to be several things at once: it is laugh-out-loud funny and at some points tragic; it is a what-will-happen next potboiler and a philosophical exploration; it offers bleak cynicism and surprising tenderness. Perhaps what helps it to work is the fact that it was published in chapter-long installments, and Thackeray needed to keep the public coming back. But it's much more than just a soap opera. The emotional range is hugely impressive, on occasion it moves from farce to tragedy within a single sentence. The book has a surprisingly modern feel to it, considering its age. With most classics you have to steel yourself a little bit to get through them. This was quite the opposite for me: I looked forward to every opportunity to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The shy tomboy stepped in for the first time. Her honey brown eyes darted side to side nervously from beneath the shade of her cap. Her long, carmel hair rested on her shoulders and bounced at each step.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He wanders in shyly, arms crossed as he looks around. ((Slow posts, doing school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks for a new love
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*somewhat nervously walks in while looking for someone to talk to*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hi, how are you?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He walked in riding a giant laser-chicken*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*She walked up behind myra* hello
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walked in and smiled. She had long black hair and violet eyes. Her pointy teeth sparkled a pearly white.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Madelyn walked in, she looked around with her grey orbs, she took a deep breathe of he fresh air, with a smile she walked around gracefully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I shove my hands into my pockets keeping my head down (Wait are you named after the pencil??)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He bounds in and looks around playfully with his pale blue eyes.